Diamond Jubilee: Queen 'humbled' by celebrations

 

Queen Elizabeth II: ''It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together''

The Queen has called her Diamond Jubilee "a humbling experience", saying she had been "touched deeply" by seeing so many people celebrating together.

In a message to the nation, she thanked all those who organised the events.

Festivities culminated in an appearance by the senior royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony in front of huge crowds to watch an RAF flypast.

But the Queen's consort, Prince Philip, was absent from her side as he remains in hospital with a bladder infection.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the Duke of Edinburgh on Tuesday afternoon.

Afterwards, Prince Edward said: "He's feeling better." The countess added: "He's in good spirits; he's on good form."

'Happy atmosphere'

The Queen's message was broadcast on television and radio across the UK and Commonwealth.

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As one who knows the Queen put it to me once - you don't want a monarch who fizzes like a Catherine wheel ”

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"The events that I have attended to mark my Diamond Jubilee have been a humbling experience," she said.

"It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.

"But Prince Philip and I want to take this opportunity to offer our special thanks and appreciation to all those who have had a hand in organising these Jubilee celebrations.

"It has been a massive challenge, and I am sure that everyone who has enjoyed these festive occasions realises how much work has been involved."

She added: "I hope that memories of all this year's happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come.

"I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the countless kindnesses shown to me in this country and throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you all."

Commonwealth leaders

The Queen will continue to mark her Diamond Jubilee on Wednesday after four days of public celebrations.

Analysis

After Monday's party, Tuesday was a more sedate tribute to the Queen.

The Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral was a celebration of 60 years of loyal service and commitment.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of the Queen's "years of utterly demanding yet deeply joyful service". His words are a reflection of the mood throughout the Jubilee celebrations.

Thousands again descended on central London for the ceremonial part of the weekend's festivities - especially the Royal Family's appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

I have spoken to many people over the past few days about how they view the Queen. Some have been royalists, some far from it. But nearly all have held the Queen in high regard.

The day's events have been marked though by the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh. For 60 years he has been at the Queen's side at almost every ceremonial occasion. On Tuesday, she was without him.

She will attend a lunch for the anniversary at Marlborough House in Pall Mall in central London with Commonwealth leaders, including prime ministers, governor generals and high commission representatives.

The Queen had been due to be accompanied at the event by the Duke of Edinburgh.

On Tuesday, the Queen attended a thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral where Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams paid tribute to her "lifelong dedication".

"I don't think it's at all fanciful to say that, in all her public engagements, our Queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others," he said.

David Cameron, who gave a reading at the service, called her "a real inspiration".

"We have seen the country come together with a sense of celebration and unity but also tremendous resilience, resilience from people who want to celebrate despite the weather and resilience, of course, from Her Majesty - nothing stops her doing the job she does," the prime minister said.

US President Barack Obama was among those who paid tribute to her "60 extraordinary years".

In a specially recorded message he called the Queen "a steadfast ally, loyal friend and tireless leader" and said she had been "the chief source of resilience" for the unique alliance between his country and the UK throughout her reign.

In other Jubilee events on Tuesday:

  • Crowds gathered from early morning to cheer the Queen on her journey from Buckingham Palace to St Paul's
  • The congregation at the cathedral included a large representation from the government, military personnel and members of the royal household, alongside diplomats and foreign leaders
  • After the service, the Queen attended a reception at nearby Mansion House - the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London
  • The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were at a similar event at the Guildhall
  • All of the senior royals then enjoyed a lunch at Westminster Hall before embarking on a carriage procession through packed streets back to the palace
  • The day ended in an appearance by the senior royals on the palace balcony to watch a flypast by World War II aircraft and the Red arrows

Other events during the extended Jubilee weekend included a star-studded concert outside Buckingham Palace on Monday night.

Queen's procession in open-top carriage procession

At the end the Queen came on to the stage to press a diamond-shaped crystal into a pod, igniting a beacon in The Mall to mark her 60 years on the throne. It was one of more than 4,000 lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

On Sunday, about a thousand boats took part in the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant, the first of its kind for 350 years.

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee

 

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  • rate this
    +26

    Comment number 1.

    All in all- makes you proud to be British! All this PC nonsense around the Union Flag etc can come and go. We are the best in the world at proudly showing our history and we did it this weekend proudly with the world watching. Granted the BBC's coverage was a little inane at times and could have been better, but the pomp and ceromony was second to none.

  • rate this
    +23

    Comment number 6.

    The Queen has proved she is someone we can respect and be proud of, she shows us all how to behave and it is clear that she is dedicated to her people. The Queen she not be humbled, we should be, when we see her, at her age, coping so brilliantly with the demands put on her. It is great that we have such a great Queen, she puts the Great into Great Britain.

  • rate this
    +20

    Comment number 12.

    Pomp, circumstance & patrotism that the likes of the USA could only dream of - when it comes down to it the Brits do it best! The return of the fabulous Union Flag (the best in the World) & a big fat lump in the stomach to the devisive Nationists & Republicans. God save the Queen!

  • rate this
    +18

    Comment number 13.

    Never was a monarchist,but to be fair they more than earn their keep and help to project the UK in an excellent light.
    The celebrations helped to showcase this nation with performances that are unmatchable.

  • rate this
    +18

    Comment number 7.

    Long may she reign.

 

Comments 5 of 257

 

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